Interrogations : Description
The Koan is a collection of « words » written by Zen Maesters and conserved in Chinese monasteries between then 11th and 13th centuries. We can find such “words” in the writings of Wou-Wen-Kouan, Lin-Tsi-Lou, and Pi-Yen-Lou. In Japan today, Zen Buddhism continues, manifesting in the traditions of two major sects; Soto and Rinzai. In both sects, spiritual training involves the practice of meditation, but in the Rinzai sect, such meditation may also utilise the Koan. In this case, the Master will ask questions based on the “Words” of Koan, and the student will hold these in his mind during the meditation. The “words” themselves aren’t logical, and there is no clear and coherent answer to the questions they pose. The student must look beneath the surface of the phrase. To find a response to a question may take several years, may be even a lifetime…
During the early 1960s, I travelled the world with Peter Brook’s experimental company, encountering audiences of every type and culture, in Iran, Africa, and the USA, as well as in Europe. Always asking key questions : “What it Theatre ?”, “What is an Actor ?”, “What is the relationship between the actor and the public ?” Over the years the company attempted to construct a theatre that was vibrant and direct, a theatre that united the performers and the audience. As Peter Brook stated, “an empty space”, where every element – object, gesture, sound – stimulated the imagination and allowed the audience its own role in the creative process. With Interrogations, I am returning to the spirit of those years of travelling, encountering, and creating, using the texts of the Koan as a starting point.
During the performance of Interrogations, I ask the audience questions from the Koan. In this case, there is no spiritual or philosophical objective, only an entertainment base on the gap between word and thought. As in the writings of Beckett or Ionesco. Obviously, there is no need for anyone to find the “right” answer, but the questions act as a thread linking the audience with the two performers. They join us together, they create a sense of connivance, and cooperation, allowing us to move together towards a moment of shared delight, towards a living theatre.
As the great Noh actor Zeami once said : “What we call “Art”, since it calms the spirit of all human beings, and produces emotion in everyone, great and small, could become the point of departure for greater health and happiness, and a means of lengthening life.”
Musician of the performance : Dieter Trüstedt
Born in Berlin. Studies of physics at Technical University, Munich and 1971 graduation in physics. 3 years researches at Department of Physics in Garching (Munich). Since 1973, self-employed in sound and light art, organizer publicist and lecturer.
He applies himself intensively in the research of the phenomenon of sound, the development of electronic and acoustical music instruments, as well as the phenomenon of light. The results of his work were to be seen on many international events of theatre, music and fine art in Europe.
Foundings : Music and Art Center University of Ulm 1990, Echtzeithalle München 1997, Laboratory of Music (together with Highschool for Music and Theatre Munich) 2000.
Light Art : for instance : Mechanical Theatre Munich 1966. Lenbach Gallery City of Munich 1971, Stedeljik-Museum Armsterdam 1973. Blue Ribbon Berlin 1994. Wind of Light Herderhaus Munich 1999.